The marketing benefits of using social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter are well documented, but a new site called Pinterest is proving to be a viable new outlet that provides some particularly effective marketing channels for nonprofits. The goal of the site is to connect people based on shared interests. Users find images across the web and “pin” them to different categories (known as “boards”) on their profile, and in this way they share a bit about themselves and what they enjoy.
Many nonprofits, including Amnesty International, UNICEF, the World Wildlife Fund and more, are using Pinterest as a way to emotionally engage their followers with their brand. As it turns out, the site is a great tool to create this sort of engagement, which is particularly emotional for nonprofit organizations. Here are some tips for how your nonprofit can do the same:
Be personal. While widespread branding is important on a general level, at the Pinterest level it will only result in turning users away. The best pins to share are personal and engaging, with a focused message. Along the same lines, don’t be afraid to be revealing about your organization. Share pins that are images of volunteers working with your organization, or the good that you’re doing in your particular concentration.
Show what you’re doing. Many Pinterest users collect pins about their “dream wedding” or “dream house,” but if you can show pins of what you’re actually accomplishing or will accomplish, that will instantly help your organization to stick out.
Connect with other organizations. Re-pin or “like” pins that other nonprofits put up. This succeeds both in revealing your motives as well as spreading the word about your organization.
Use fundraisers. Pinterest makes it extremely easy to raise money for your organization. All you need to do is type a dollar sign with the price in the description for your pin, and it lets people know this is an item up for purchase. Consider t-shirts, mugs or other items with your logo or an inspiring image.
Create a community. Be inviting! Share happy pins, repin your followers and encourage a community. This will make people more likely to want to either donate to or get involved with your organization.
These are just a few of the many ways that nonprofits are using Pinterest to market themselves. If you work with a nonprofit organization, take a moment to turn your attention from your Facebook and Twitter marketing and take a closer look into what Pinterest can do for you!